In my efforts to finally obtain my degree in Computer Science I have been forced to take a couple detours. I found out earlier this year that I needed to take about four more classes than I originally anticipated when I enrolled. They told me that I had to take a few more electives, so I was quite ticked off (there goes another four months of time and another $4K down the crapper). I wasn't happy about the choices I had either. None of them had anything to do with my degree (like most electives). Psychology courses were available options, so I figured that I might give it a shot. (I had tried a psychology course earlier in college and almost failed it). Little did I realize just what was going on.
It really amazes me that with all the talking and blogging I do about letting God lead us, even if we don't understand the pain and suffering that is on the surface, how hard it is to do myself (stupid pride).
I just finished the first class a few weeks ago and it has turned out to be extremely useful. This one was a higher-level introductory course (PSY 300). I had several other psychology courses to choose from for this time period, but I figured the others might not make much sense unless I had a foundation.
Anyway, I had one essay and a few other "short" writing assignments that I had to complete during the five weeks. I found that my apologetic bent was creeping up in them quite often. Psychology is quite the fascinating discipline. It is the study of human behavior- what causes, develops, maintains, or even forces behavior. As a "worldview thinker" I believe that my worldview must not be incompatible with the findings of psychology (if, of course, psychology does have any truth to it). In fact, I even believe that any worldview that claims to be true must be able to accurately explain the findings of psychology.
The understanding of human behavior is an effective tool when communicating to people. Earlier this year I posted about why I feel that learning to communicate effectively is important (The Importance of Learning to Communicate). As an apologist, I must be sensitive to the other person while encouraging them to see the truth of the Christian worldview (Positive Arguments vs. Negative Arguments). Understanding human behavior helps the apologist maintain patience and understanding of the thoughts and feelings of the person (s)he is communicating with. Understanding behavior also helps us to understand why people may react to our message in the ways that they do.
I see that psychology provides vital information to anyone who wishes to convince someone of the truth of a certain point of view. For the next 12 weeks, my posts will be the essay and writing assignments that I submitted in class. I will even include some other writing that I did that was not assigned, but I posted for clarification or brain storms in our online forums. I will do my best to provide context to help you understand. In fact, I will have three posts that explain the content of one of the posts and one post preparing you for the following week's post. I will also provide links to my previous posts (at the beginning of the post) that will help provide more context for the content of the particular writing.
Next week I will start with my first essay. It is a quick explanation of the field of psychology and describes the four most popular perspectives. I'll give a better intro next week.
I will wrap up the series with an analysis of my own behavior in my reaction to the news that I would need to take more classes.
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